Were Brutalist Campus Buildings Designed to Suppress Student Protests?

UMass Dartmouth Library, by Paul Rudolph. Image Courtesy of UMass Dartmouth

In this fascinating article on the Slate design blog, J Bryan Lowder takes on a commonly held myth: that brutalist buildings on college campuses were designed to prevent student riots. From the egalitarian design ethos of to the fact that many of these buildings were around before the widespread student uprisings of the late 1960s, he finds no support for the theory – however he does end with a possible reason why these buildings are now regarded with such suspicion. You can read the full article here.

Five Teams Shortlisted for “Russia” Theme Park

Courtesy of Park “

The Russian Green Building Council has shortlisted five teams to continue on with the second stage of the international Park “Russia” competition, which plans to become the largest theme park in Europe. Designed to be a “trademark” for the country in Moscow’s Domodedovo district, the 1000 hectare “Russia” Theme Park aims to merge concepts of healthy living, entertainment and education into one, commercially attractive destination.

The five shortlisted teams are:

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The Best US Architecture Schools for 2014 are…

Gund Hall, Harvard University. Image Courtesy of Harvard University

It’s that time of year again: DesignIntelligence has released their 2014 rankings of the Best US Architecture Schools. Though many students and professionals are curious to know just who is number 1, we encourage you to forget the rankings and consider the  survey’s invaluable insight on the current state of architecture and .

Hundreds of design educators and professionals participated in the 2014 survey to identify the profession’s biggest challenges, as well as just how design education is evolving to reflect those challenges and which schools are really producing students best equipped for the profession today.

Out of all the data, two Universities stood out. 

Read more to find out which two Universities are best preparing students in 2014, after the break…

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Where Automobiles & Architecture Meet

Audi A3 Assembly Line. Image © Audi

Where does architecture and the industry meet? Many architects, including Le Corbusier, have tried to understand how building construction can be more like car manufacturing, with mass-produced parts that can be easily assembled on site. Ford recently explored the idea at their Design with a Purpose: Built Tough panel discussion held at New York’s Center for Architecture. Click here to read The New York Times‘ coverage of the discussion, and check out ArchDaily editor-in-chief’s thoughts on cars and architecture here.

3D Laser Technology to Digitally Preserve The World’s Greatest Sites

’s Scanned Parthenon Project. Image Courtesy of toptravellists.net

CyArk, a non-for-profit 3D laser scanning organization, is scanning the world’s greatest monuments, hoping to preserve over 500 cultural heritage sites around the globe, The Independent reports. The portable laser system creates such a detailed, digital blueprint of structures and ruins that each building can then be reproduced in 3D, with a margin of error of only two millimeters. So far, the statues of Easter Island, the Tower of London, Mount Rushmore, the Tower of Pisa have been preserved. Check out more about the technology in ’s TED Talk.

Architects Tackle LA’s Water Scarcity

Arid Land Institute Geo-spatial Model. Image © Arid Land Institute

Water scarcity is a profound challenge for designers of the built environment. Beyond looking for water sources and creating sustainable ecosystems, how can we begin to create cities and buildings that will help us to celebrate and mitigate hydro-logical concerns? Hadley and , co-directors of the Arid Land Institute (ALI) at Woodbury University, have decided to tackle this problem around . With the support of the World Water Forum and the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, they recently developed a high-resolution geospatial model to strategically identify and quantify the potential for improving storm water capture within urban areas.

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A Walking City for the 21st Century

© Poliedro

In a world where people live more mobile lifestyles than they have for centuries, cities are facing a problem they rarely planned for: their citizens move away. When jobs and resources start to decline, modern cities, such as Detroit, suffer difficult and often wasteful processes of urban contraction. In contrast to this, Manuel Dominguez’s “Very Large Structure,” the result of his thesis project at ETSA Madrid, proposes a nomadic city that can move on caterpillar tracks to locations where work and resources are abundant.

Of course this is not the first time that the idea of a nomadic city has been proposed. Ron Herron’s Walking City is one of the more recognizable Archigram designs from the 1960s, and has been influential to architectural theory ever since. However, the design for the “Very Large Structure” expands on the by including strong proposals for energy generation on board the city.

Read on to see more on this provocative project – including a full set of presentation boards in the image gallery.

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Winners of the World Habitat Awards Announced

The 2013 will be held in Medellin, Colombia. Image © Flickr / David Peña

The winners of the 2013 World Habitat Awards, a competition focused on addressing housing needs and issues across the globe, have just been announced. Picked from a pool of over 200 applicants, the two winning entries represent the most innovative and resilient proposals with potential for global use, taking on the rampant homelessness problem in the US (The 100,000 Homes Campaign) and exploring revitalisation opportunities for the Old City in Hebron (Hebron Old City Rehabilitation Programme). The winners will be honoured at a ceremony in Medellin, Colombia on October 17, 2014. To learn more about the competition and it’s winners, click here

On Gender, Genius, and Denise Scott Brown

outside Las Vegas in 1966; photograph from the Archives of Robert Venturi and . Image © Frank Hanswijk

“In the 10 years I’ve been running my architectural practice, I [...] have gotten accustomed to people assuming that my male employees — whether younger or older — are the lead architects who will be making final decisions. Yet this time a lingering frustration colored the rest of my day, a sense that while feminism has made significant progress on a conscious level, little change has trickled down into the unconscious of our culture.” Check out the rest of Esther Sperber’s column for Lilith, in which she details the past travails of female architects (particularly Denise Scott Brown’s), and their future mission, here.

2013 ONE Prize Finalists Announced

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The finalists of the 2013 ONE Prize, a competition exploring the social, economic, and ecological possibilities of urban transformation, have just been announced. The 2013 competition focused on severe climate dynamism, calling for innovative and thoughtful design proposals and urban interventions that intend to alleviate storm impact and answer the question: “How can cities adapt to the future challenges of extreme weather?”

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The World’s 10 Coolest Car Parks

1111 Lincoln Road in Miami, USA. Image © Nelson Garrido/1111Lincoln Road Shot Reprinted with permission from MBeach1, LLLP

Parking garages generally have a bad reputation – particularly now that cars are seen as such an environmentally unfriendly way to travel, not to mention the fact that they are often unattractive utilitarian . To counteract this common perception, the website Stress Free Airport Parking has launched an award for the World’s Coolest Car Park. Read on after the break to find out which 10 parking structures have been shortlisted for the top award.

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Milwaukee Urban Farm Movement Grows

Courtesy of Truly Living Well Center for Natural Urban Agriculture

After the foreclosure crisis, hundreds of cities despaired at the downturn – but in Milwaukee, the HomeGr/own Initiative saw opportunity. The organization converts empty lots into urban farms, calling upon citizens to assist in this growing movement. But while other cities have tried similar projects (and failed), Fast.Co reports that the HomeGr/own Initiative seems suited to last. Learn why here.

AS+GG Wins Competition for Astana World EXPO 2017

© Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture

Chicago-based Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture (AS+GG) has been announced as winner of a major design competition for World EXPO-2017 in Astana, Kazakhstan. Selected from 105 entrants, which included the likes of Coop Himmelb(l)au, and UNStudio, AS+GG’s 173.4 hectare proposal plans to build on the Expo’s theme “Future Energy” by becoming the “first Third Industrial Revolution city.”

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Morphosis Architects to Design New U.S. Embassy in Beirut

Beirut, . Image © VOA/V. Undritz

has been selected from a shortlist of three to design the new U.S. Embassy in Beirut, Lebanon. The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations (OBO) chose Morphosis over Diller Scofidio + Renfro and Mack Scogin Merrill Elam with AECOM after conducting a series of presentations and interviews in the third round of the international competition.

“Morphosis presented a strong, cohesive team with over 50 years of collaborative experience. Their presentation demonstrated the management and design approach required to successfully execute this project, as well as a thorough understanding of the importance and impact of an American Embassy in Beirut.

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Zaha Hadid Designs Superyacht for Blohm+Voss

© Unique Circle Yachts / Zaha Hadid Architects for Bloom+Voss Shipyards

Zaha Hadid has collaborated with the Hamburg-based shipbuilders Blohm+Voss to design a new concept for a family of superyachts: a 128-meter master prototype that will  eventually spawn five, fully-engineered, 90-meter “Unique Circle Yachts.” According to Hadid, the overall design is informed by “fluid dynamics and underwater ecosystems, with hydrodynamic research shaping the design of the hull.”

More from the architect, after the break. 

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Why Do Bad Guys Always Get The Best Houses?

The Sheats Goldstein Residence by . Image © Jeff Green

In this interesting article for the Financial Times, Edwin Heathcote dissects two Hollywood homes that are infamous as the homes of slick movie bad guys. The Lovell Health House designed by Richard Neutra appeared in LA Confidential as the home of pornographer and pimp Pierce Patchett; the Sheats Goldstein Residence appeared in The Big Lebowski – again as the home of a pornographer – and was designed by none other than “Hollywood’s favourite architectJohn Lautner. Heathcote probes the two architects’ design influences and ideas, and of course offers an explanation as to why “”bad guys always seem to get the best houses“. You can read the full article here.

Ten Firms Shortlisted to Renovate Mies’ MLK Jr. Memorial Library in D.C.

Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library / Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. Image © Flickr user Elvert Barnes

In August, we reported a Request for Qualifications for the renovation of Mies van der Rohe’s Martin Luther King (MLK) Jr. Memorial Library in Washington D.C. - Mies’ only library and the only building in D.C. A few days ago, the District of Columbia Public Library (DCPL) narrowed down the list of potential firms from 26 to 10 and revealed that it was looking for community input on the library’s future spaces and services.

The ten firms that made the cut are:

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BIG’s Beach + Howe Tower Wins Approval in Vancouver

© Luxigon

Bjarke Ingels Group ()’s 700,000 square foot Beach + Howe development has been approved by the City Council. Though concerns still remain regarding the height of the 52-story tower – which is intended to become the city’s fourth tallest building – an overwhelming majority of the council and public seems to be enthusiastic about the project. 

“It meets the test at every respect — gorgeous architecture, turning a dead space into a vibrant public space with animation and job space. The housing is diverse and much needed… People have used the word iconic – I think it’s remarkable design to combine so many elements on a tough site,” stated Mayor Gregor Robertson before the vote. “It’s an extraordinary project that deserves strong council support.”

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